I wish could post my favorite emoji here. The shoulder shrugging icon that represents phrases like, I guess, yo bad, or oh well. Right now, that emoji seems like the perfect one to put here as I write yet another post about another officer who used the “I feared for my life” tagline and got away with it.
It seems like the perfect emoji to insert because it reflects how I truly feel. Like most, I have become emotionally conflicted about these reoccurring instances where the people who swore to serve and protect citizens are getting away with murder.
FLAT OUT MURDER!!
On one hand, I am infuriated by the thought that a white police officer can gun down a black man or woman without consequence. I am enraged by the very notion, a black officer killed a white woman the same way, and the “I feared for my life” tagline wasn’t good enough for him. I am angered by the Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter groups who will march in the streets for white police officers who are being publically persecuted or gunned down, or white kids who are murdered in school, but can’t find an ounce of humanity when the victim is a brown or black person. Yes, these things anger and upset me.
But then, I reflect on all the senseless murders by police officers involving unarmed black people and I’ve grown numb. I’m numbed by the ignorance of people who jump on the victim blaming bandwagon. I am numb to the white people who say they aren’t racist, or racism is a figment of our imagination, but can’t seem to see how these very instances are acts of racism. I am numb to the fact that people who look like me are walking targets to those with badges and embedded racism on power trips. I am numb to the constant provoking and stimulation of PTSD in the black community due to these visualizations.
I am numb to the realization that no matter how solid the facts may be, how many witnesses testify, or how clear the body camera footage may be, a white police officer probably will not be convicted.
This was true for Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Anthony Smith, Sean Bell, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, and now Alton Sterling. I want to say I am shocked, bewildered, and confused, but I’m not. I want to say that I am completely and utterly surprised the officers who murdered Alton Sterling are getting away with it, but I’d be lying. I want say that the dedication to maintaining the “black people are super predators, thugs, animals” agenda is shocking, but it’s not.
Sadly, I no longer wait for this country to treat black people like equal citizens. We came into this country as three-fifths of a person over 400 years ago, and we are still viewed in that same capacity. The truth is the constitution was not written for us. The reality is those amendments were not meant to include us. The National Anthem they treasure so much was never intended for us. The laws they created are filled with loopholes to imprison us.
So why would I be surprised that this situation, though 153 years after slavery was abolished, and 53 years after Jim Crow laws ended would be any different?
Unfortunately, I’m not.